Does anyone have any experience with a percussion vest?
Does anyone have any experience with a percussion vest? I could not tolerate an albuterol nebulizer so this is the next step he has recommended. However, the co-payment is pretty hefty and would like to have some feedback before investing in this. I did have a bad cough that is improved, however, am unable to produce any sputum and he said this will loosen the secretions in my chest. Thanks so much.
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Hello @gj53 I'm diagnosed w Bronchiectisis and MAC, and I didn't produce much sputum when first diagnosed over a year ago. My percussion vest (inCourage Airway Therapy Vest) was the 1st investment on my journey to better health. I didn't think it did much for the first couple of months but was assured it was loosening the mucus in my tubes. I did a puff on an albuterol inhaler first to open up my airways. Thinking bigger is better I asked my doc for the nebulizer albuterol and couldn't tolerate it either. Made me too jittery. I did start nebulizing every morning w 7% saline solution (moisturizes, thins the mucus,cleanses) following up w the vest. Most days I can now cough up a couple or a few big plugs. The machine is expensive everyone's co- pay is different. Best of luck with your decision. Margie
I have the Hill-Rom vest. I strongly suggest you try any vest for at least a month before purchasing one. For me, it was minimally effective and a bother to use. What has really worked as an airway clearance for me is 3% hypertonic saline via nebulizer. It is inexpensive, relatively fast and easy to use. I use it twice a day and it really does a wonderful job of bringing up mucus. Best wishes!
Is the hypertonic saline an over the counter purchase? Would I need a script from the doc for this?
Thanks so much…..
THank you for your reply. Am thinking could try the nebulizer with just saline then and see if that helps. The doctor will ask me if my chest feels full but it does not. Just can't produce anything with my cough.
@gj53 i do find the Afflovest helpful, and it is portable.
I need a prescription for the saline. I found it online without a prescription but it took 3 months to receive from out of the country. Too long!
@gj53 sure, why not? Ask your doc to recommend a nebulizer unit and either the 3% or 7% saline solution. These things can be bought thru various websites, or your Part B insurance covers it. (If you're in the US) It's covered under DME (Durable Medical Equipment) and so is the saline under Part B as its used with the DME. I had a heck of a few months getting insurance to pay for the saline because the pharmacy kept running it through Part D prescription meds. It took just 1 "rotating" pharmacist to call that to my attention. Also, you can poll people on here about the nebulizers they like and why. Best to you. Margie
@gj53 I tried the HillRom vest and being so thin (as I imagine most of us are), it was uncomfortable. I would end up very sore from the vibrations. Only used for one month and sent it back.
Thanks for the reply, recently diagnosed with the MAC and trying to figure all this out and the best approach.
gj, I was dx'd with Bronchiectasis 8 -10 years ago following sudden onset of episodic retching coughing triggered especially when in a reclining or recumbent posture, although they also occurred at other times seemingly without "provocation." It was primarily just a nuisance until it began to result in acute bronchitis attacks a couple of times annually. My doc Rx'd Cipro which always seemed to clear up the bronchitis. At some point though my doc referred me on to a pulmonologist who thought I also had MAC but was unable to achieve lab confirmation of the Dx. So for a few years I just rocked along doing the Cipro thing a couple of times each year.
As years passed the bronchitis flare ups became more frequent and a bit more resistant to treatment. I also moved on to a different pulmonologist who was able to obtain a Respirtec percussion vest (aka, THUMPER). By that time I was old enough to have Medicare coverage and believe it or not, Medicare paid for the thing. I've been using it two years, twice daily for half-hour sessions along with a sodium chloride nebulizer. I've always been a bit puzzled that I have never enjoyed any irrefutable evidence that it really does any good. I do bring up mucous but it's not at all correlated in time with the Thumper sessions, in fact I have no memory of ever producing increased mucous immediately following (or during) a thumping session. Similarly, I have no evidence that the nebulizer is helpful. My hope has been that I would enjoy a decreased frequency of bronchitis flare-ups but frankly they've continued pretty reliably to occur twice a year; troublingly more difficult to resolve as time as passed.
Though I have no evidence that it's helped, I'm afraid to stop, fearing that maybe it is helping and stopping might result in an irreversible set-back.
Initially I worried that being tethered to the contraption twice a day reduced my "usable" day to 23 hours. However, I soon began to use the time to read and have probably expanded my intellectual horizon a bit in the process, despite the somewhat tortuous task of reading bouncing words.
BTW, On a recent CT scan the pulmonologist reported that my MAC condition has actually improved without treatment. I sorta jokingly said, "I must be doing something right." Truth is I may be. For year or so I've been fermenting my own Kimchi and eating a few ounces daily. Recently I read that there exist a "gut/lung axis" suggesting a healthy gut my have a salutary impact on the lungs. And fermented foods are supposed to be faves of our gut microbes. So always in the market for a silver bullet healthwise, I promptly concluded that my Kimchi is curing MAC. Hope this lengthy post doesn't violate a forum maximum rule. Don